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Old 06-07-2015, 06:02 PM   #1
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Help With a Route

The wife and I are thinking of making a trip from Baltimore, MD to the Anchor Down RV Resort in Dandridge, TN. We have always stuck to Route 95 when heading North or South. For this trip, I'm thinking of Route 70 West to 15 South to Route 81 South.

My question to those that have traveled that route, I have heard from some that that route is not really great for a gas V10 pulling a Cherokee. Is this a challenging route? I look more for a comfortable relaxing drive. If there is a couple of spots to watch for, that's ok, If on the other hand the route would be a handful and best left for someone looking for a challenge , I would probably be better served finding an alternate route.

Any insight will be greatly appreciated
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Old 06-07-2015, 06:04 PM   #2
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From Baltimore, MD to Dandridge TN ?
I guess you don't have a software called "Streets & Trips" from MS...
I'll get back to you with alternative routes.
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Old 06-07-2015, 06:21 PM   #3
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From Baltimore, MD to Dandridge TN ?
I guess you don't have a software called "Streets & Trips" from MS...
I'll get back to you with alternative routes.
Actually I do. I also have a Garmin 760 RV. But neither one of those will tell me the seat of the pants impressions, long steep grades up or down.
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Old 06-07-2015, 06:24 PM   #4
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I think you've got it right -- 70 to 15 to 81 South as the best bet by far.
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Old 06-07-2015, 06:24 PM   #5
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Here we go...
From I-95, goto 495 West
- then goto I-66, a great route
- finally to I-81

That route is just under 500 milles with moderate hills but you'll always be on Interstates on a minimum of 2 lanes traffic and not on a winding one lane highway.
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Old 06-07-2015, 06:34 PM   #6
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Here we go...
From I-95, goto 495 West
- then goto I-66, a great route
- finally to I-81

That route is just under 500 milles with moderate hills but you'll always be on Interstates on a minimum of 2 lanes traffic and not on a winding one lane highway.
That's the type of info I was looking for. Interstates are better than a single lane. I want a nice drive not a challenge.
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Old 06-07-2015, 06:56 PM   #7
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Have you ever considered buying copies of the Mountain West and East atlases? They are excellent guides for answering exactly the sort of question you posted here.
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Old 06-08-2015, 07:26 AM   #8
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They are great guides but they only give you the montain climbs on the Interstates and not on highways.
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Old 06-08-2015, 07:45 AM   #9
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We go to Anchor down a lot not but 80 miles from home. I81 runs into I40 when you get on I40 take exit 412 turn left go to stop sign turn right Anchor Down about mile on left. This way you miss all of The traffic on Hwy 66.
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Old 06-08-2015, 11:10 AM   #10
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That's the type of info I was looking for. Interstates are better than a single lane. I want a nice drive not a challenge.

You say you want "no challenge". You live in that area, so I will assume you realize that the route proposed takes you right through 50-60 miles of prime DC commuter traffic, heavily congested most hours of the day.


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Old 06-08-2015, 05:23 PM   #11
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You say you want "no challenge". You live in that area, so I will assume you realize that the route proposed takes you right through 50-60 miles of prime DC commuter traffic, heavily congested most hours of the day.


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I was initially thinking of I-70 west to 15 South, and run that into Rt 81. What concerned me were comments made by others on some different boards that said Rt 81 can be a challenge to drive in some areas. That's Why I started this topic.

As for the DC Beltway, AKA 495, while I try to avoid it if at all possible, I can and have driven the motorhome w/toad both going and coming to Baltimore. My wife HATES it, of course she hates the Baltimore Beltway - 695. I guess she has no sense of adventure I learned how to drive in Boston, MA in the mid 70's. If you can survive that, the DC Beltway isn't that bad. The traffic doesn't concern me, it's the road itself. I have only been driving the motorhome for about 9 months and 5 of those it was in storage. I don't want to set myself up for something that is beyond my experience level. Just think about Bear Tooth Pass. While I know that's an over exaggeration, to a "rookie" driver, I want to avoid something like that. In the mid 80's, my Mom and Dad took there 28 FT Southwind Class A, on Bear Tooth Pass. My mother didn't rattle easy, but she said she would never do it again.

So I want to avoid a "rookie" version of Bear Tooth Pass.
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Old 06-09-2015, 12:05 AM   #12
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I was initially thinking of I-70 west to 15 South, and run that into Rt 81. What concerned me were comments made by others on some different boards that said Rt 81 can be a challenge to drive in some areas........
Yuh, that's the route I thought of as well. I've driven all those roads, and they're all fine. We use US15 often from H'burg down to Manassas. I-81 has some longish grades a bit farther south, but nothing memorable. Through it all, I-81 continues to meet Interstate design standards, which means no sharp curves, horizontal or vertical, no extreme grades, no surprises. Nothing to give you pause as long as you're not a "brake dragger".

An extra 20 miles or so could be worthwhile to avoid beltway rush hour, unless you're planning to leave home early Sunday morning, in which case I'd just take the beltway and I-66.



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....I learned how to drive in Boston, MA in the mid 70's. If you can survive that, the DC Beltway isn't that bad. The traffic doesn't concern me, it's the road itself. ....

I'm a Boston native myself, lived most of my life there. Did spend 5 years living in the DC area though, and we visit family there often, usually with the coach. It's the traffic itself that I don't like. Boston drivers are self-centered and assertive, but skilled. Once you come to grips with that it become easier to see the flow. Many DC drivers, IMO, tend to be oblivious to what's going on around them, and often indecisive. Makes the commuting traffic more like a pachinko machine than a cohesive dynamic flow.

Anyhow, enjoy your trip!



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Old 06-09-2015, 05:26 AM   #13
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You say you have only been driving motorhome 9 months and 5 of those it has been in storage.

So we're the 5 months sitting in the driver's seat going VROOM VROOM...

Sorry couldn't resist
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Old 06-09-2015, 08:43 AM   #14
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As someone who lived outside of DC in Northern VA for most of my life, I don't think I would want to do the 495 route. If it were me, I think I'd take 70 right to 81. I don't think 15 / 340 will save much time and I'd rather stay on the Interstates. I have been up and down 81 from PA to TN in cars and in our old ACE 29.2 and while you will hit some hills by the time you get around Wytheville, I never had any issues towing our Wrangler. You will find lots of trucks on 81, but barring an accident, you won't have any traffic issues and should have plenty of space. Safe travels!
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